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How to Write a Book with ChatGPT as Your AI Co-Author Part 2: Nonfiction Writing

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By Vincent Bythe/ChatGPT

Learn how ChatGPT can assist writers through every stage of crafting a nonfiction book as an AI research and writing partner. We’ll provides tips for ideation, research, outlining, drafting, editing, and titling using specific ChatGPT prompts. Learn how you can leverage this tool to accelerate productivity and boost creativity on their publishing journey.

You have an amazing idea for a compelling nonfiction book. But between in-depth research, organizing complex ideas, and crafting hundreds of pages worth of content, bringing your concept to life feels overwhelming. What if you had an AI writing partner capable of accelerating every step?

Enter ChatGPT. This groundbreaking AI system from OpenAI can work with you as a co-writer, research assistant, and editor to make writing your nonfiction book far more achievable. Let’s explore how to tap into ChatGPT at every stage to boost productivity on your way to publishing success.

All great nonfiction starts with curiosity about a subject. To nail down a specific, compelling book topic, ChatGPT can rapidly suggest relevant ideas, trends, and angles tailored to your interests, for example:

Research:

  • Summarize key information from long or complex source materials
  • Pull out relevant facts, figures, and quotes from research sources
  • Suggest additional sources to investigate based on initial research
  • Generate APA/MLA/Chicago style citations for sources


Ideation:

  • Propose engaging titles for each chapter
  • Recommend potential opening and closing anecdotes or real-world examples
  • Brainstorm listicle/number-based ideas to organize chapters
  • Identify sections that need an illustrative chart, graph, or diagram


Give prompts like:

“Give me 10 unique nonfiction book ideas related to [education]”

or

“Suggest 3 controversial topics I could write a book on concerning [social media].”

ChatGPT returns lists of on-trend, highly searchable concepts that align with your expertise. Choose a favorite then dive deeper with questions like:

“How should I narrow my book idea about [the evolution of social media] into a focused concept?”

The AI will suggest useful framing devices like zeroing in on a specific time period, platform, or impact angle. With an AI assistant generating ideas, you can quickly find a teeth-sinking nonfiction concept.

 

Conducting Efficient Research

Now it’s time to delve into research to flesh out your topic. But sifting through endless books, journals, and websites is exhausting. Instead, leverage ChatGPT as your personal research assistant to complete tasks like:


Give prompts like:

“Find 10 highly cited academic studies related to [social media addiction] published after 2015.”

“Summarize the key ideas in this [Harvard Business Review article link] in 3 bullet points.”

“Provide a list of 5 seminal nonfiction books covering [the anti-vaccine movement] with author names and publishing dates.”

ChatGPT can rapidly gather, read, summarize, and cite high-quality sources on command. Plus it suggests related materials you may have overlooked. This streamlines your research while uncovering gems of info to include.

Outlining Your Argument

The key to a compelling nonfiction book is a clear central argument tying everything together. To map this out, have ChatGPT:

“Give a 5 paragraph overview explaining the main argument for my book on [social media and teenagers]. Include 3 supporting points.”

Review the AI’s summary to ensure a logical flow. Expand it into a complete chapter-by-chapter outline including summaries of what each chapter will cover. This bird’s-eye view makes the writing process far less intimidating.

Drafting Chapters Rapidly

Now the fun begins – writing! While producing hundreds of pages solo can be a slog, your AI friend can give your productivity a big boost. Here is a list of some of the most popular drafting tasks that AI can do for you:

  • Write rough draft paragraphs on requested topics and passages
  • Expand on outlined sections with more detail and examples
  • Compose alternative explanations or phrasings of complex concepts
  • Generate draft introductions and conclusions for chapters
  •  

Simply give ChatGPT prompts like:

“Write a 600 word introduction for my book making the argument that [social media harms teen mental health] in a compelling, authoritative tone with citations.”

“Give a 2000 word first draft of Chapter 4 covering [social media’s impact on self-esteem]. Include statistics, expert opinions, and real-world examples.”

The AI will generate polished passages on request. Though human creativity is still essential, letting ChatGPT produce initial drafts accelerates progress dramatically. Treat the AI as a silicon-powered writing partner.

Perfection Through Editing

Having ChatGPT as an AI writing companion allows nonfiction authors to get workable drafts on the page faster, while reserving their own energy for the critical thinking and storytelling craft that only a human can provide. 

As with any draft, expect to spend lots of time self-editing and revising, even after leveraging ChatGPT. Here’s some of the most important tasks that AI can help you with:

  • Assess if tone/voice matches target readership
  • Check for unnecessary repetition or wordiness
  • Suggest more efficient turn of phrases or sentence structures
  • Identify passages that require additional sources or facts
  • Propose fresh analogies and metaphors to enliven explanations

Have the AI assist by asking targeted refinement questions:

“Is the tone of this chapter intro overly casual for a serious nonfiction book? Suggest changes.”

“Does this passage on [the effects of Instagram filters] effectively weave in source citations?”

“Recommend 2 sections in Chapter 6 that could use more vivid examples to engage readers.”

Think of your AI companion as an editor to consult during your revision process. It provides instant feedback for improving flow, expanding analysis, and enhancing readability.

ChatGPT can provide you with useful feedback on the overall flow and coherence of a nonfiction book manuscript. Here are some ways you could prompt the AI for macro-level feedback:

  • “Read the chapter outline for my nonfiction book on [topic] and assess if the structure and organization seem logical and easy to follow.”

  • “I’ve written 3 chapters so far of my book on [topic]. Identify any gaps in the overall narrative flow or message that should be connected.”

  • “Does each chapter clearly build upon and relate back to the central argument outlined in the introduction? Identify any chapters that seem disconnected.”

  • “Review the introduction and conclusion I’ve drafted. Do they present a cohesive narrative arc for the entire book?”

  • “Which chapters could benefit from additional transition sentences between topics to smooth out the flow?”

  • “Any suggestions for small bridging paragraphs between chapters to create more seamless flow?”

  • “Does the pacing and sequencing of chapters feel optimized for keeping the reader engaged from start to finish?”

  • “Are there any repetitive themes or redundant passages spanning multiple chapters that should be consolidated?”

The key is prompting ChatGPT to review completed sections and the overall outline to spot structural issues, repetition, missing links, unclear transitions, or anything that disrupts the book’s narrative flow. The AI can recommed high-level solutions, allowing the author to implement the fixes themselves. With some guidance, ChatGPT provides a useful macro-view of coherence.

 

Craft a Compelling Cover and Title

Finally, tap into your AI partner’s creativity to conceptualize the all-important cover design and title. Ask questions like:

“Suggest 5 nonfiction book titles about [social media’s dark side] that would grab attention.”

“Give 10 visually striking cover image ideas that represent a book on [the mental health risks of Instagram].”

Brainstorm ideas with ChatGPT to capture the essence of your concept in a memorable way. Combine human ingenuity with AI speed to make your book irresistible.

You can turn your best cover ideas into prompts for Midjourney, Stable Diffusion or Bing AI Images to let AI create the images for your book. If you are planning to make print version of your book, remember to upscale the images to the highest possible quality – at least 250ppi.

Using AI to Identify Flow and Coherence Issues

Crafting a nonfiction book involves weaving together hundreds of pages into a cohesive narrative. It’s all too easy for structural problems to emerge that disrupt flow and muddy your message. Leveraging ChatGPT’s analytical skills can help diagnose weaknesses in your manuscript’s organization and coherence.

Here are some of the most common mistakes that disrupt nonfiction book flow, along with sample ChatGPT prompts to uncover them in your draft:

Lack of Cohesive Narrative Arc

The book reads as a collection of disjointed facts rather than a unified story centered on a theme.

ChatGPT Prompt: “Does my book feel like it has a central theme or is it just a collection of facts? Identify chapters that seem disconnected from the core argument.”

Disorganized Structure

Chapters aren’t sequenced for optimal logic and flow. The progression of topics is jumpy or confusing.

ChatGPT Prompt: “Review my chapter outline. Is the sequence logical or are there any chapters that seem out of order?”

Repetitive Ideas

Key points are covered repeatedly across chapters instead of building on ideas. This creates redundancy.

ChatGPT Prompt: “Are there any points or topics I cover redundantly across multiple chapters? Tell me where information is repeated.”

Missing Transitions

Chapter transitions and segues are abrupt or unclear. Needed bridges between ideas are omitted.

ChatGPT Prompt: “Identify chapters that need additional transitional sentences or paragraphs to bridge the topics.”

Tone Inconsistency

The author’s voice or tone shifts noticeably between sections. This jars the reader.

ChatGPT Prompt: “Is my writing voice consistent throughout or are there sections where the tone noticeably shifts? Tell me where it changes.”

Overstuffed Passages

Trying to cram too much into one section results in convoluted, dense chunks that are hard to digest.

ChatGPT Prompt: “Are there any dense chapters that feel bogged down with too many points crammed in? Tell me which ones need editing.”

Lack of Reminder Cues

Failing to adequately reintroduce or reference ideas from previous chapters leaves reader lost.

ChatGPT Prompt: “Do I adequately reintroduce key ideas from previous chapters as needed? Tell me where I need more reminders.”

No Narrative “Glue”

Lack of anecdotes, examples, and analogies to tie everything together into a cohesive story.

ChatGPT Prompt: “Recommend where I should add more anecdotes, analogies, or examples to tie chapters together into a story.”

Disjointed Opening/Closing

Introduction and conclusion are disconnected rather than bringing structure to the book.

ChatGPT Prompt: “Read my intro and conclusion. Do they present a unified arc for the book or seem disconnected?”

Uneven Pacing

Certain sections drag on while important topics get shortchanged. Results in imbalanced structure.

ChatGPT Prompt: “Identify any chapters that seem too rushed or stretched out compared to the importance of the topic.”

Asking the right prompting questions can help ChatGPT analyze your manuscript to pinpoint weaknesses in narrative flow and coherence. Target your edits to smooth out the rough patches. With some AI assistance, you can create a well-structured book that seamlessly engages readers from start to finish.

Share your experience with AI Co-writing

Writing a stellar nonfiction book is a massive undertaking. But by enlisting ChatGPT as your AI-powered research assistant, draft generator, and editing consultant, you can amplify productivity and creativity at every step.

While the hard work remains up to you, accelerating repetitive tasks with AI allows you to focus fully on providing thoughtful analysis, framework, and storytelling that connects with readers. Dream big nonfiction dreams – and let this game-changing AI help you take your writing to new heights!

I’d love to hear about your experiences using AI tools like ChatGPT in your writing process. Share your thoughts and book ideas below!

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About the article

Artificify.me is a blog designed to inspire and encourage creative professionals to incorporate AI into their workflow. We make creative AI available to all, through the use of user-friendly guides, explainers, tips and tools.

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About the author

Vincent Bythe
Vincent Bythe is a non-fiction author and copywriter with a passion for all things AI.

He spends his time writing and blogging, laughing at his own jokes, as well as experimenting with AI technology to improve his creative output.

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